Hello. Let me introduce myself. My name is Reggie and I am the luckiest and happiest dog in the world. Please read my story and find out why I am saying this.
Some people may say I am “only a dog”. In Egypt that put me in a low and hated position. But as a dog I have emotions like you humans have. I felt fear when I was turned out into the streets of Cairo. I felt fear when that big dog attacked me in Cairo and ripped my leg open. I felt fear going on an airplane from Cairo to Toronto. I felt sadness being left alone when Anwar was arrested by the Egyptian army and the most terrible sadness when I heard that Anwar was executed by the government for writing critical articles about it. I felt gratitude for that Egyptian policeman that picked me off the street after I was bitten and took me to an animal hospital. I felt gratitude to the people at the animal hospital that helped me get better. I also have so much compassion for street dogs all over the world that are abused, starved, beaten, neglected and tortured. That makes me so very angry at the humans that do this. What did we dogs do to deserve this?
So here I find myself in Canada with my foster parents Anthony and Susan. I express a great deal of thankfulness towards them. They give me a nice bed. They give me fresh clean water and delicious food. They try to hug me but I am still a bit afraid of humans even if I know they are trying to help me. I sometimes do things bad but they never hit or kick me. They speak to me nicely and give me a pat on the head like they understand my street life.
I ask myself what I am doing in Canada where the dogs I see are carefree and so happy instead of fighting over scraps of food they want to play or simply sniff each other and happily wag their tail. I am in a different world but why did I end up here? Was there no one in Egypt that wanted to take care of me? I am a proud Egyptian dog with the blood of the ancient pharaohs in me yet I am now in Canada. Why? Why?
The more love and compassion that foster parents Anthony and Susan show me the safer and less confused I am. I realize I must accept this situation and be happy. Too many bad memories only make me sad and more confused. I must look forward to a safe and loved future. Easy to say but harder to live.
In a confused way I understand that I ended up here in Canada because some Canadians wanted to make my life better. It is so much better. Clean water in a nice bowl is better than muddy rainwater and a bowl of what they call “kibble” is so much better than gnawing on a goat bone my favourite merchant in the Cairo marketplace would throw me.
The path to my happiness is cloudy but I can feel it in my bones but I can’t see it clearly yet. What is my future here in Canada?
I will tell you how I know I may find happiness here in Canada. A few days after I arrived in Canada, I ate too much food thinking in my mind some other dog would take it away from me. I had a bad tummy ache in the middle of the night and had to poop in the kitchen floor. Anwar had trained me to do my business outdoors but I just had to poop. Anthony came down in the morning and found me shivering in shame under the kitchen table. He spoke to me softly saying “I understand Reggie”. He tried to hug me and I let him. The last person to hug me was Anwar. I miss him so much. So very much. But that was yesterday or a long time ago. I have to move on but what am I doing here in Canada. Will someone arrest Susan and Anthony and throw me into the street? I am confused.